|Dr. Lea Joyner, pastor of the Southside United Methodist Church, Monroe, Louisiana, for thirty-three years, was born June 17, in Mississippi. She was reared in Grayson, Louisiana, where she completed her high school education. She graduated from High Point College, High Point, North Carolina, in 1939. She was ordained a minister in the Methodist Protestant Church on January 1, 1939 and has pastored churches since that time. For five years, she was pastor of the Columbia Circuit, and then was assistant Minister at the First Methodist Church, Monroe, for eight years, followed by serving as pastor of the Southside United Methodist, Monroe for thirty-three years.
Reverend Joyner organized Southside United Methodist Church in 1952 with 126 members. When she departed this earth, the membership was over 2,200 with a total property valuation of over $3,000,000.00. Reverend Joyner had been the only pastor of Southside. Evangelism had always been emphasized at Southside. Every week a group called the ‘‘Fishermen’s Club’’ would go out to call on membership prospects of the church. During the years since its organization, Southside has averaged at least 60 new members on Confession of Faith each year. In 1984 she was awarded Doctor of Divinity degrees by both Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana and Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky.
Other activities of Reverend Joyner include Membership on the National Board of Evangelism. She has also been very helpful in civic organizations. She had received the 25-year service award to the community from the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, and was awarded the National DAR Medal of Honor by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She served as chaplain of Alcoholics Anonymous and was honorary chaplain of Pilot International. In 1976 she served as an elected member to the United Methodist Church General and Jurisdictional Conferences delegation from Louisiana.
Dr. Joyner has received numerous civic awards and has spoken in the last few years to many groups, Including the Congress on Evangelism in Miami, Florida, in 1978. She was principal speaker in Annual Conferences in Louisiana, New York and West Virginia, and has held workshops in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Dr. Joyner went to her reward March 12, 1985.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1985; p. 250-251 By Bennie Fuller|